Thanksgiving is tomorrow and all week I’ve been seeing articles about how to cut the calories in the meal or what to eat so that you don’t consume a bazillion calories. I see it every year and it kinda drives me batty.
Holiday calories don’t count! We all need to splurge a little every now and then. To me, “splurge” means enjoying a piece of pumpkin pie – not three – without any guilt.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a great way – other than potato pancakes – to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you’ve ever been to Arby’s and love their Loaded Potato Bites than you are in luck because they were the inspiration for this recipe. And they are pretty spot on too - crispy on the outside, and soft and cheesy on the inside with bits of bacon and scallions. A guilty pleasure for sure, but share them with some friends and I swear you won’t be sorry.
I should have taken a shot of the inside of these babies for you, but I ate them instead.
Loaded Potato Bites
*Makes 18-24 bites depending on size
- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 strips bacon
- 1/3 cup scallions, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups Italian bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
- Salt and Pepper
- Ranch or Honey Mustard for dipping
1. Take potatoes out of the fridge and let sit for a few minutes to take the chill off a bit. Meanwhile shred the cheese, chop scallions, and cook bacon then dice finely. Add potatoes and flour to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine well, then add cheese, bacon, and scallions. Take about a heaping tablespoon of mixture and roll with hands into a small ball. It if doesn’t hold its shape, add a little more flour to make the potatoes sturdy. Repeat until done.
2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan – or use your fryer – over medium/medium high heat to about 350-375 degrees. Whisk egg into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place bread crumbs in an additional bowl. Dip each ball in egg and then roll in bread crumbs until fully coated. Set aside on a sheet pan.
3. Test oil with one ball. The oil should bubble when potato is in oil and ball should take about 1-2 minutes to brown and cook through. (If takes longer the oil needs to be hotter, if it browned too quickly on the outside and the inside is still cold, the temperature needs to be lower.) Once oil is ready, add potato balls in small batches and fry for 1-2 minutes – it will depend on size. Remove with slotted spoon and place on paper lined plate to allow excess oil to drain off. Repeat until done.
4. Allow to cool for a minute or two and serve with dipping sauce.